Sunday, March 8, 2015

Great Uncle David Levitt of Philadelphia

My husband's great-grandfather, Max Levitt (1857-1935), married twice. I believe the name of his first wife was Adele Willer. (Hadel Willer on her daughter Rebecca's NYC marriage record.) There are two granddaughters who were named Adele, daughters of their son David Levitt and their daughter Rebecca (Levitt) Reisner. It is thought that Adele died either on the boat coming over to America, or before the family left Galicia for America. Max's second wife was Golda (also known as Gussie) Segal, from whom my husband is descended.

This can get confusing so I just set up a very simple tree for Max and his first wife, Adele, and their two children I know who had children: David and Rebecca.

David had three daughters with his first wife, and one daughter with his second wife.

Rebecca married Jacob Reisner and had seven children with him. I have blogged about this family before. See Jacob's and Rebecca's marriage license. See Jacob Reisner's obituary. See their tombstone.

I recently had contact from someone whose mother is second cousin to my husband, descended from David Levitt and his second wife, whom I found as Yetta Cornfield (Philadelphia Marriage Index), though he knows her as Henrietta. His grandmother is recently-deceased Shirley Mae Levitt in the tree above.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Finding New Jersey County Naturalization Records

My mother-in-law's family arrived in Woodbine, New Jersey, soon after its founding in 1891. I have written about the naturalization of her father, Max Levitt, and her great-grandfather, Simche Siegel, both in Cape May County, New Jersey.

An ongoing project is to clean up my source citations in Family Tree Maker. I had found another naturalization record, for Simche's son-in-law, Wolff (or William) Siegel, at in the New Jersey, Cape May County, New Jersey, County Naturalization Records, 1749-1986 and wanted to make sure my source citations were consistent for these three. I then realized that I had received Simche Siegel's records from a Seigle/Segal cousin, and had used a different (not very complete) citation. In order to make these citations consistent, I explored FamilySearch's Cape May County Naturalizations again, looking for Simche.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday's Tip ~ Losing American Citizenship by Marriage

I have been doing some research for a sister-in-law and came across an interesting item that doesn't occur in my husband's ancestry (or mine).

The following image is from the 1920 U.S. Census. The household is for my sister-in-law's great-grandmother, Sadie (Brubaker) (Glazer) Anderson and her second husband. They were living in Camden, New Jersey.

Sadie (also known as Sarah) first married in 1898, to George F. Glazer, who also was born in Pennsylvania. They had several (maybe eight) children together before they divorced. As this census record shows, by 1920, Sarah/Sadie (Brubaker) Glazer had married Agustus Anderson. The household also includes two of her children from her first marriage, Cora Glazer (age 20) and Alice Glazer (age 7), as well as Elinor Anderson, a daughter of Agustus, but I'm not sure who her mother is (Sadie or a first wife of Agustus).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Camden, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1022;Page: 9A;
Enumeration District: 8; Image: 127. Record for Agustus and Sadie Anderson.
The census tells me the following:
Anderson, Agustus, Head of Household, Owns his home, with mortgage, is 38 years old, born in Denmark, about 1882. He immigrated in 1910, and "Pa" means he has his papers; he is NOT a U.S. citizen, but has filed his intention to become a citizen.

Anderson, Sadie, Wife, is 36 years old, born in Pennsylvania, about 1884. Note the columns that indicate immigration year and citizenship. Agustus has "1910" and "Pa" and below that, Sadie has "x" and "Al."

Obviously since Sadie was born in Pennsylvania, she doesn't have a year of immigration, but by marrying an alien (non-citizen), Sadie lost her citizenship and wouldn't regain it until (or if) her husband, Augustus, became a citizen. This was the law at the time, and the logic behind the law was that if women couldn't vote, then their citizenship status wasn't that important. 

However, in August 1920, when women won the right to vote, it was deemed patently unfair that a woman could lose her citizenship and that right to vote by marrying a non-citizen. It took a couple of years, but in September 1922, immigration law changed, giving a woman the right to retain her citizenship (and that important right to vote) even if she married a non-citizen.

For those women who married an immigrant who did not become a citizen (or died before becoming a citizen), they had to complete paperwork to prove they were born in the U.S. and wanted to regain their citizenship rights. Alternatively, as in the case of Sadie, her second husband did become a naturalized citizen (according to the 1930 U.S. census), so she became a citizen again.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

More information on Bubbie Lena Handler

At about 44 minutes into the "Mishpacha Tape Helen and Esther" at YouTube, these cousins of my father-in-law tell the story about their Uncle Joe Handler and his wife Lena (Hollander) Handler (my father-in-law's parents). The statements from the cousins are in italics below, and my comments follow.

Joe was four years younger than his brother Sam. That's relatively accurate. I show Joe's birth date as 24 August 1884, and Sam's birth date as 27 December 1887, based on their draft cards, naturalization records, and in Joe's case, his marriage record from Hungary.
Arthur and Lena

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cousin and Athlete Art Handler

More from "The Mishpacha Tape Helen and Esther 1988," which can be found on YouTube.

Esther and Helen
At about 38 minutes into this video, Helen talks about Art Handler, son of Sam Handler and Sadie (Herskovitz) Handler. This Art Handler is a first cousin to my father-in-law, as well as first cousin to Helen and Esther.

In the video, Helen states that "Art aspired to be a basketball player and was very, very good. He played...semi-professionally...and they wanted to send him to school on a scholarship and he would have gotten a scholarship to college for basketball...but Aunt Sadie and Uncle Sam didn't want him to do that. For some reason or other he let them talk him out of that...They didn't want him to do basketball...They wanted him to take over Uncle Sam's business."

I have another Handler cousin who found my blog a couple of years ago and after my last post mentioning this video, he sent me an email noting that there are quite a few details that are not correct (which I already knew). Specifically, he provided clarification on the above story about Art Handler, who was his Uncle Art:
The story about Art Handler is not accurate. He was a baseball player and was a bat boy for the Cleveland Indians. When Sam and Sadie found out, they stopped him. That is the semi-professional playing they talk about, (The Arthur that is Sam and Sadie Handler’s son) while he was still in high school. The story I heard, is that after school, they locked him in the basement so he wouldn’t go to that job. And, he could not get any scholarship because he disappeared from that world. When I later asked Art about that, he didn’t want to talk about it. In any case, he never got to play professionally, which he wanted to do. He was a good athlete and he played pick-up basketball (that is why they thought he was involved with basketball). He played on a senior team until he was an old man and couldn’t play anymore. He ended up doing what he did at the pop factory, delivering to grocery stores - but when the pop factory closed, he got a job delivering potato chips and related snacks and did that for his career. [Thank you to Alan Simon for this story.]

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Rose Handler ~ An Older Sister

Another interesting piece of information that I learned from the video interview of Helen Solomon and Esther Goldstein was that their mother, Regina (Handler) Solomon, had an older sister in addition to her older brothers, Sam and Joseph.

Cousin Helen reports that her mother, Regina, remembers her father as an old man with a long white beard (her description begins here) and that he died when Regina was four years old. Just after that statement, Helen answers a question about who was the oldest of Regina's siblings here, reporting that the oldest Handler sibling was sister, Rose, who was twelve years older than Regina.

It looks like the family of Aaron Handler and his second wife, Sarah (Sally) looked like:

Rose Handler, born about 1879 or 1880
Joseph Handler, born 1884 (see his draft cards here)
Sam Handler, born 1887 (see his draft cards here)
Regina Handler, born in February 1891 or 1892

If Regina was four years old when her father died, Aaron Handler died in 1895 or 1896.

Rose Handler married and remained in Europe (don't know where). Helen remembers that her children were Aaron or Arthur (likely named after her deceased father), Margaret, and other sons. None of this family came to America and as far as we know, they died in the Holocaust.

Regina (Handler) Solomon and Jake Solomon

Monday, December 22, 2014

Great-Grandmother Sarah or Sally Handler

At Connecting with a Handler Cousin, I shared the link to a 1988 video interview that my husband's second cousin did with his aunts, my father-in-law's cousins Esther and Helen Solomon.

At about 18:45 minutes in, the sisters start talking about their mother's father, Aaron Handler. Their mother's name was Regina (younger sister to Sam and Joseph Handler). According to Helen, her grandfather, Aaron Handler, was a wealthy farmer who owned a large farm. He had four sons with his first wife, whose name they don't know. The sisters share a little bit of what they remember of these older sons of Aaron (Herman, Leopold, Philip, and "the one who made his career in the service").

After taking a brief break, the video interview continues and it comes out that after Aaron's first wife died, he married his brother's daughter: his niece, whose name is Sarah Handler, as remembered by Helen and Esther. They don't know Sarah's father's name.

I have written about this great-grandmother of my husband's before at: Finding A Jewish Great Grandmother (which includes her death certificate) and Great-Grandmother Handler Married Twice. And at one of my favorite blog posts: Passenger Lists...And Following Up on Family Stories.

JewishGen's JOWBR (JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry) has a record for Sally Handler, buried in Lansing Avenue Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. With some additional digging, I found that she is buried in row 15 of the Knesseth Israel section of the cemetery and I'm hoping someone will fulfill the FindAGrave photo request I have made.

JewishGen has this cemetery in its index and the record for "Sally Handler" indicates that her tombstone reads: "Chaya Sara bat Zvi."

If this is correct (and I'd love to see the tombstone to be sure), then Zvi Handler is brother of Aaron Handler and father of Sarah / Sally Handler.

Another interesting thing to think about: In looking up the given name Zvi at JewishGen's Given Names Database (for Hungary), the U.S. equivalent is Herman or Harry.